The long forgotten healing properties of tobacco -- Health & Wellness ...https://www.sott.net/article/280406-The-long-forgotten-healing-properties-of-tobacco
The long forgotten healing properties of tobacco
Thu, 12 Jun 2014 16:39 UTC
Tobacco's genus, Nicotiana, covers over 70 species. The name tobacco usually refers to most famous and widely used Nicotiana Tabacum and its shorter but more potent cousin Nicotiana Rustica, both native to the Americas.
Although it's hard to pinpoint when and where it was first cultivated, it is sure tobacco has been used for several thousand years before the time Christopher Columbus reached Americas in 1492, and after that it spread to the whole world.
Although in present-day society associated with a myriad of health issues, including cancerand cardiovascular diseases, this plant has been used for medicinal, as well as ritual purposes for millennia. Only in the last decades tobacco has been aggressively proclaimed harmful. Up until the '50s they even had doctors promoting them. Why it is so?
Throughout South and North America, tobacco was used consumed in a diversity of ways: it was chewed, sniffed, smoked, eaten, juiced, smeared over bodies, and used in eye drops and enemas. Its use varied depending on the culture and location - it ranged from medicinal as a remedy for many ailments, to purely recreational consumed by both men and women, and also mystical - a connection to thespiritual world: it´s purifying smoke was blown over fields before planting, over women prior to sex, blown into warriors' faces before battle, it was offered to gods as well as accepted as their gift. In other words, tobacco smoke was believed to carry blessings, protection and most of all purification.
The popularity of tobacco was likely due to its dual nature: small amounts of tobacco produce a mild stimulating effect on the user, while large amounts can cause hallucinations, deep trance or even death. This is why it plays a major role in many shamanistic traditions, and is an integral part of many of their cultures.
Even today it is widely used by shamans in the Amazon, where shamans who specialize in ceremonies with tobacco are called tabaqueros. They master the spirit of tobacco and heal illnesses with his/her blow of tobacco. There tobacco is considered a Planta Maestra, i.e. Teacher Plant. These plants are considered key protective spirits, allies and guides to the world of health and healing. Other examples of Teacher Plants are Ayahuasca, San Pedro and Coca, but there are dozen others, not necessarily hallucinogenic.
In pre-Columbian North America, different tribes and civilizations had used tobacco, with one thing in common - they all preferred pipes for smoking. The pipes were utilized for distinct social and ritual purposes, which resulted in their sacred status, same as tobacco itself had. Various tribes used tobacco for various purposes including healing ailments such as earaches, snake bites, cuts and burns, respiratory diseases, fever, convulsions, nervous ailments, urinary ailments, and skin diseases. Other examples of its use was sealing the peace with other tribes, preventing lightning and storms, communicating with spirits and, making an offering to them.
Tobacco's first encounter with Europe was in the palace gardens in Spain and Portugal, from where it spread to the rest of the continent, first because of its beauty, and later because of the medical properties that were assigned to it. The first noted experiments with the plant were conducted by Jean Nicot, a French ambassador in Portugal, after whom nicotine was later named. He succeeded to cure a man with a tumor applying tobacco poultices, and continued experimenting with it. He introduced the plant to the French court and promoted its medicinal properties, which gave a boost to its popularity.
The popularity of tobacco is likely owed to nicotine, one of its potent ingredients. Nicotine is an alkaloid that in lesser doses produces a relaxing and stimulating effect, and increases the level of dopamine and serotonin, which probably accounts for its addictive properties. In higher doses it can be harmful. Even though labeled addictive, its benefits seem to outweigh the risks. In fact, it seems to have no more health risks than caffeine.
The confusion about nicotine comes from anti-smoking activists who equate nicotine and smoking. Nicotine is an anti-inflammatory agent and has been shown, among other things to prevent and treat Alzheimer's, as well as delay the onset of Parkinson's disease.
Analysis of natural tobacco leaf has been shown to contain more than 3,000 endogenous plant organic and inorganic chemical compounds. Interestingly, among them are certain harmala alkaloids, which perform as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI-s). These prevent the breakdown of monoamine neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin and thereby increase their availability. This can also account for tobacco's "feel good" effect. Also, in case of ingesting DMT, tobacco is likely to increase its absorption.
What happened in the last hundred years that changed the way the world thinks about tobacco?
At the notion of tobacco, the majority of people will associate it with disease. The WHO states that "tobacco use is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced". This statement is false because the tobacco itself doesn't present such a health threat; it is the modern tobacco products and the production process that pose a threat.
Tobacco today is a commercial agricultural product, planted in over a hundred countries. The whole process from planting to harvesting, curing and its incorporation into tobacco products is carefully controlled, in order to get specific leaf characteristics, smoke chemistry, degree of combustibility, desired moisture content and other properties.
Being one of two main categories exempt from being required to label the ingredients (the other one being alcoholic beverages), tobacco products are usually laden with additives. Any attempt to make labeling the ingredients obligatory has been smothered by the tobacco industry. Now, I have heard many times that cigarettes have additives, but once I looked deeper into the subject, I realized this was not only true, but true to a perverted extent.
In the US, the industry uses over 600 intentional chemical additives to blended cigarettes. Furthermore, there is a myriad of additives present in tobacco final products which are not intentionally added, but are simply a by-product of growing and production process.
These include: various microorganisms, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, heavy metals, foreign materials such as metal, cardboard, styrofoam, wood fragments, small animals and insects, and other elements such as organic solvents and dioxins.
The tobacco industry claims that all of the additives used in the manufacture of cigarettes and other tobacco products are approved for use by the FDA GRAS (generally regarded as safe) list. However, problem is the ingredients on these lists have never been approved in products that are intended to be burned or inhaled.
Through inhalation the lungs absorb into the body even the substances that the digestive tract would have recognized as toxic and filtered out, while the burning alters many of these additives into potentially harmful ones, while some are known to produce carcinogenics when pyrolyzed. Furthermore, none of these additives have been tested in conjunction with other pyrolyzed additives or tobacco.
In example, even the seemingly harmless additives such as licorice , chocolate, honey, and brown sugar, are actually harmful when burned in conjunction with nicotine since the sugars in these ingredients create acetaldehyde when burned. Another example is glycerol which, when pyrolyzed, converts to acrolein, a known carcinogen.
As if this wasn't enough, in 1982 tobacco became the first plant that was genetically modified. Since then, tobacco has been further genetically modified with the purpose of making it resistant to herbicides, insecticides, viruses, fungi, and to reduce the nicotine content. Since labeling GMO-s is not mandatory, users of cigarettes and other tobacco products, in addition to being exposed to numerous dangerous chemicals, have no way of knowing if there's GMO tobacco in their cigarettes. This also means that the studies done on smoking and smokers do not differentiate between natural and chemically treated tobacco, or between natural and GMO tobacco.
I would call this bad science.
Interestingly, another plant whose health benefits have long been neglected has been getting plenty of media attention lately, and that is cannabis. People are waking up realizing they've been conned into thinking this was just a dangerous drug. But you will rarely see tobacco in the media, unless to warn about its health hazards. The conviction of its detrimental properties is too deep.
Does all of this mean that the natural tobacco and smoking natural tobacco is completely safe? No, absolutely not. As with any plant, it can be a cure, but it can also be a poison. Smoking natural tobacco could have significant benefits as peoples across the world have recognized for millennia.
However, it could have some health risks too, since some harmful substances may come from tobacco itself. I have found no studies conducted on natural, organic or wild grown tobacco, probably because it is not widely available. In fact, in most countries it is very hard to find. There are some studies on conventional tobacco that show some health effects of smoking, so called "Smokers' Paradoxes".
It appears to reduce the risk of ulcerative colitis, sarcoidosis, endometrial cancer, uterine fibroids and breast cancer among women carrying the very high risk BRCA gene. Using organic tobacco with no additives may be a way to utilize these benefits, without many of the risks posed by conventional tobacco.
If you are a tobacco lover, the best way to obtain it is to plant your own in a garden or in pots. Since there's no recipe on how to use it and in which quantities, a good way would be to use your intuition.
You may want to smoke it recreationally, or use it occasionally like the old Indians did: consciously and with intention.
If you feel like it, make a tobacco tea or add a fresh leaf to your smoothies.
Fire Safe Cigarettes and the Genocide Against Smokers - The Health ...
It is near sacrilege to publish anything that in any way defends smokers. Brace yourself, for you are about to read such a sacrilege. For the sake of political correctness, let us preface by noting that smokers are hellishly evil creatures, for they savagely murder our innocent children with their second-hand death gas. Now we can move on with political correctness satisfied.
As a collective society, we have come to view anything tobacco-related as evil, and its users as needing to be stoned (in the biblical sense). Because of the almost religious anti-tobacco dogma nowadays, what follows might be difficult for some readers to believe.
The first smokers were the American Indians. They also gave us cannabis (marijuana), which was a favorite choice inside peace pipes. For hundreds, if not thousands of years, the American Indians frequently smoked unfiltered and organic tobaccos, for which the smoke was 10 times stronger than any cigarette sold now. The Indians did not get lung cancers. They suffered from no major diseases at all. They did not even suffer from allergies, despite living outdoors constantly. It is similar to the situation with the modern-day, unvaccinated Amish. It was not until the English and the Europeans began importing the European diets, long-term food storage, and the overall European lifestyle that serious diseases appeared in Indian tribes. The Old World diseases struck them with an ugly vengeance. Entire tribes were wiped-out in days, because the Indians had never needed to develop an immunity against European pathogens.
No Indian was ever killed by tobacco before modern cigarette processing became normal. Our modern killer-tobacco is not the same tobacco that was smoked by their forefathers around camp fires. As an interesting aside, there still have been no deaths attributed to marijuana, ever. If marijuana were regulated and 'enhanced' by the same chemical industry partners and governmental regulators that manage our cigarettes, foods, and drugs, then marijuana would become cancerous too. The pharmaceutical industry would not tolerate safe marijuana anymore than it tolerates safe cigarettes. Marijuana is actually a greater threat, because it has potent medicinal qualities, and that is why the public must be made to fear it.
Like our foods and medicines, modern tobacco is 'enhanced' by the chemical industry, and now our foods, medicines, and even tobaccos comprise an unholy trinity of death. In modern cigarette smoke, the chemical compounds outnumber the tobacco compounds over 100-to-1. Every one of these intentionally added chemicals is toxic and most of them are carcinogenic. There is some truth to the belief that most (if not all) tobacco companies are evil, because what they do to their own customers is truly evil. None of it is necessary. We are frankly baffled by the insanity of it all. Cigarettes, like medicines and foods, do not need to be poisoned, but all of them tend to be quite toxic in this era, thanks to adulterations.
It is getting much worse for smokers in America. Since January of 2010, in 49 out of the 50 states, there has been a legal requirement that a much worse poison be added to all cigarettes. The new state laws require that cigarette manufacturers poison smokers with something worse than we have seen before, like a state-mandated genocide against smokers. Please have the compassion to help us get the message out, even if you personally despise smoking and smokers. It is the right thing to do.
Cigarettes now must contain ethylene/vinyl acetate copolymer, which is literally carpet glue. It is known to cause tumors in mice, but inhalation of its smoke has never been tested on humans. The Material Safety Data Sheet for this substance notes that it produces toxic fumes when exposed to fire. The new "fire safe" cigarettes are made with 3 layers of paper, which requires triple the glue of past cigarettes. They contain what are referred to as "speed bumps" (made from carpet glue) all the way down the shaft. These are designed to reduce oxygen flow, so that the cigarette will quickly extinguish if nobody is inhaling it. This often puts the cigarette out too early, causing the smoker to re-ignite several times throughout a cigarette. It forces the smoker to inhale more deeply and more frequently than they otherwise would, whilst they smoke a considerably more toxic cigarette. We call this deadly by design.
Activists have been campaigning for decades to get tobacco companies to remove other substances that are toxic when smoked, such as citrates, phosphates and calcium carbonate; which are added to ensure that cigarettes do not self-extinguish. Instead of just removing these burn accelerators, tobacco companies instead added carpet glue. Their logic for appeasing law-makers is hopelessly flawed. Newspaper articles which blame the victims for cigarette-induced fires with headlines like "House Burned Down by Reckless Cigarette Use", neglect to mention the fact that cigarettes contain burn accelerators, which should rightly place the blame on the manufacturer of the cigarettes. These fire-accelerating chemicals incredibly remain inside the "fire safe cigarettes". It is a similar situation to the one that we have witnessed with the pharmaceutical industry, in which new chemicals are needed to eliminate the side-effects of the chemicals that they provided originally.
The Politics of Tobacco Genocide
No studies have ever been done on cigarettes containing pure, organic tobacco, because such a test might actually prove it to be safe in moderation. Such a scientific finding would not be a politically correct one. It would be on-par with questioning Darwinism, and it would probably destroy some careers.
Despite all of the campaigns that have been led by politicians who talk about how they are "getting tough" on Big Tobacco, no labeling is yet required for the additives that are in cigarettes. Smokers are unaware that hundreds of chemical compounds are added to most cigarettes. Even fewer have been told that they are legally required to inhale carpet glue whenever they smoke.
A study by the Harvard School of Health revealed that tar, carbon monoxide, and naphthalene levels were higher in the new fire safe cigarettes. In fact, according to their study, every chemical, except nicotine, was higher in fire-safe cigarettes. The decreased nicotine will cause smokers to smoke more of these cigarettes, and we are betting this is not coincidental. Despite the alarming results, the study was actually biased toward promoting fire-safe cigarettes. We can empathize with their good intentions, but this cure is obviously worse than the disease. If the agenda is truly innocent, then why have these 'improved' cigarettes never been reported to the public? Why has there been a media black-out?
Naphthalene is an insecticide and a byproduct of the coal tar industry. It is also a core part of the new "safe cigarettes". Exposure to high amounts of naphthalene can result in irreversible damage to the eyes and liver, according to the E.P.A. It is also a carcinogen, particularly through inhalation exposure. Symptoms of acute exposure include headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, malaise, confusion, anemia, jaundice, convulsions, and coma. It can also cause neurological effects in infants. It is easy to conclude that normal cigarettes are safer than their "fire safe" counterparts. These are the effects of just a single chemical. An investigation into the effects of every chemical found in modern cigarettes would require a book of its own.
If all of this were not damning enough, these "fire safe cigarettes" are not truly fire safe. In one final move to alleviate themselves from any sort of liability, the cigarette companies admit on their websites that "no cigarette is fire safe". The legislation was supposedly enacted for the purpose of stopping fires, but the very initials that are found on these cigarette packets (FSC) promote a false sense of security that is prone to actually causing more fires. Even with the misnomer of increased safety, victims may not necessarily be able to sue manufacturers if the cigarettes cause a fire. Even with the existence of their chemical burn accelerators, the corporate lawyers will predictably contend that the addition of carpet glue was a good faith effort to ensure safety, and therefore fires will still be blamed on smokers.
Legislation mandating the sale of only fire-safe cigarettes first went into effect on January 1st, 2010, for certain states. We have heard dozens of reports about the health issues that are being caused by these cigarettes, which seem to mimic the symptoms of naphthalene exposure. All fire safe cigarettes must be labeled on the box. Usually found around the bar code, the letters FSC mean Fire Safety Compliant.
Some smokers choose American Spirit brand organic cigarettes, but these are also "fire safe". This company uses organic tobacco, but the carpet glue coated paper is far from organic. The only way for most Americans to avoid fire safe cigarettes is for them to roll their own cigarettes, or to purchase them online from foreign countries. As with all things, organic is of higher quality and safer.
In order to grow what the tobacco industry calls "more flavorful" tobacco, farmers use high-phosphate fertilizers. The phosphate is taken from a rock mineral called apatite, which is ground into a powder and dissolved by sulfuric acid. Hydrogen fluoride is produced as a byproduct of this process, which is then integrated into U.S. drinking water and toothpastes. Apatite rock contains radium and other radioactive elements, such as lead 210, and polonium 210. Due to these fertilizers, radioactive compounds enter the tobacco through the roots, and from direct contact with the leaves. When a smoker inhales apatite-ridden smoke, radioactive particles enter his lungs, which cause radiation poisoning over time.
"Uranium has a very long half-life and will accumulate in the soil with repeated applications of fertilizer. As a result, modern cigarettes may contain higher levels of Po-210 than those measured 40 years ago."
-- The Big Idea: Polonium, Radon and Cigarettes, The Royal Society of Medicine
The University of Massachusetts wrote to the New England Journal of Medicine in 1982, warning that a person smoking one and a half packs of cigarettes per day would be exposed to a radiation dose in certain areas of the lung at 8,000 mrem per year, which is the equivalent of 300 chest X-rays per year. It has been theorized that the amount of radiation is much greater now than it was when these tests were completed. The only way to avoid this radiation is to use organically grown tobacco. "All natural" and additive-free tobacco may still be radioactive.
Most anti-tobacco groups are opposed to any sort of harm reduction, such as additive-free or organically-grown tobacco, because they are funded by pharmaceutical and chemical companies. These companies profit from drugs and patches which allegedly help smokers to break their addictions. Those who are unable to quit smoking, or simply do not wish to, are forced to smoke needlessly toxic versions, due to a lack of available information.